Capstone Partners, a leading international investment banking firm, advised The Center for Legal Studies (CLS) on its acquisition by Leeds Equity Partners’ portfolio company, BARBRI.
The Center for Legal Studies, founded in 1980 and based in Evergreen, CO, provides online and classroom legal education through a network of 200 colleges and universities across the US. It focuses on common law and legal training curriculum which is delivered to students via live lecture, online, DVD, and Text-only formats. Delivery is on a “white label” basis, through public and private universities which use their own brand on the program and issue their own certificates upon completion. The courses are primarily focused on legal education, including paralegal, legal research and writing, and law school prep (LSAT, etc.); additionally, CLS offers SAT and GRE prep classes.
We vetted several investment banks before ultimately choosing Capstone due to their superior knowledge of the buyer universe, the energy of the team and their extensive experience with closing deals in the education sector. We were extremely happy with our decision, as our team at Capstone overdelivered on their promises and ensured that the process, materials, timeline and results were delivered as expected.
“We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of The Center for Legal Studies by Leeds Equity Partners through their platform business BARBRI,” said Bob Balaban, Managing Director at Capstone. “The Center for Legal Studies was masterfully developed, under the direction of Gary Knippa, into the leading educational institution for paralegal certification in the United States. We recognized the cultural alignment and segment expertise between the businesses and, through our extensive education experience and deep relationships with industry participants, matched BARBI with the Center for Legal Studies which ultimately led to a wonderful result for our client.”
Jacob Voorhees, Managing Director at Capstone, added “This transaction represents the creation of a leading player in the legal education market. BARBRI was an ideal match for CLS and is extremely well-positioned to expand its broad materials in BAR exam preparation classes to comprehensive resources provided in colleges in universities across the US.”
Jacques Galante, Partner at Leeds Equity Partners, said “The acquisition of The Center for Legal Studies represents a further step in BARBRI’s strategy to broaden its legal education product offering and extend its online program management partnering capabilities with colleges and universities. BARBRI’s deep and broad product suite uniquely enables it to address the needs of law students, law schools, practicing legal and legal support professionals and law firms.”
“The Center for Legal Studies enhances BARBRI’s position as the best in class provider of learning for legal professionals,” added Eric Geveda, Managing Director at Leeds Equity Partners. “We look forward to the continued success of The Center for Legal Studies as part of BARBRI.”
A portfolio company of Leeds Equity Partners, The BARBRI Group companies meet the legal education needs of law students and attorneys throughout their careers. BARBRI has helped more than 1.3 million lawyers around the world pass a U.S. bar exam. They are widely known in the legal community as the leader in preparation classes due to their innovative testing and learning technologies combined with years of experience training lawyers around the world. This acquisition opens up a new avenue of legal education for BARBRI.